If you haven’t beaten Mass Effect 3 yet, you might want to wait until the summer, when BioWare and Electronic Arts will round out the game’s ending with extra scenes.
EA and developer BioWare announced that they will release Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut as free downloadable content in response to fans who loathed the game’s original ending. (I still haven’t beaten the game, so I can’t spoil it for you.)
“We have reprioritized our post-launch development efforts to provide the fans who want more closure with even more context and clarity to the ending of the game, in a way that will feel more personalized for each player,” Casey Hudson, Mass Effect 3‘s executive producer, said in a statement.
“With the Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut we think we have struck a good balance in delivering the answers players are looking for while maintaining the team’s artistic vision for the end of this story arc in the Mass Effect universe,” said Ray Muzyka, BioWare’s co-founder.
Mass Effect 3‘s ending triggered an intense backlash from fans, who petitioned BioWare to change it, and collectively voted to give the game abysmal scores on MetaCritic, a review aggregation site. This week, EA was voted “Worst Company in America” in an annual poll at The Consumerist–beating Bank of America in the final bracket — thanks largely to outrage over Mass Effect 3.
Extreme as those reactions seem, Mass Effect encouraged players to invest themselves emotionally. Throughout the each game, players make decisions that affect how the rest of the trilogy plays out. Fans didn’t feel that the ending provided enough of an emotional payoff.
A few weeks ago, EA and BioWare promised to address criticisms with additional content but remained vague on details, such as pricing. The new statement confirms that the bonus content will be free, which should go a long way toward mollifying fans. Maybe The Consumerist should have postponed its tournament.